Monday, 21 May 2012
While I'm away, please follow all Janome news via our main Janome.co.uk website and check out the Whats New page for lastest events and products.
So, until next time.... happy sewing!!!!!
Friday, 16 March 2012
I had a little chat with Maureen, who told me about some of her highlights during her time at Janome UK lTD.Maureen worked in Kendal’s for just over six years, and in April 1984 won a trip visit to Janome in Tokyo. (The photograph above is from Japan, Maureen is in the pink top, with trainers from America, Australia, Canada and New Zealand). These included visits to Janome HQ and factories, but also to Kyoto, (which was once the capital city of Japan), take a trip on the famous Bullet Train, see Mount Fuji, and experience the amazing Japanese culture. She told me of bringing back so many souvenirs that thought she would get stopped at the airport for excess baggage!
It was during this time in Kendal’s she was asked to become involved in Exhibitions, including “Daily Mail Ideal Home Exhibition” at Earl’s Court in London. During the years that the company exhibited at the Ideal Home Exhibition, Janome were awarded three of the coveted “Daily Mail Blue Ribbon Awards” for new products which was quite an achievement.
Maureen has continued to be involved in sewing exhibitions ever since, sometimes up to 30 a year, and no matter how busy or demanding they could be they were always a favorite part of her job.
After six years at Kendal’s Maureen was offered the post of Training Supervisor to be based at Janome Head Office. This role was to train the demonstrators, Janome had concessions in department stores all over England, Scotland, and Wales, and also to support Janome independent retailers with training and promotions within their shops.Maureen, in the middle of this photograph, also set up a training room at Janome Head Office. Machines were advancing so much, especially the computerized ones, and it was this range of machines that customers really wanted help with. The machines had so much to offer but people felt that they were not using them to their full potential and were also a little nervous of them. So with this in mind, Janome decided to offer a one day free tuition course for the top of the range machine, which at that time was the Memory Craft 7000 in 1989. (Today, Janome still offers the one day free tuition course for their Horizon Memory Craft 12000, our top of the range Computerized Sewing and Embroidery Machine).Maureen was then promoted to Training Manager and responsible for co-ordinating all the different aspects of training and also to coordinate exhibitions and educational programs.
Customers loved the sewing classes, and when Janome moved into new premises, a larger training room this enabled the Janome Sewing School to be launched 1992. Experts, such as Alison Smith, Betty Foster MBE, Lynne Edwards MBE, Maureen Whitmore, Terry Fox and many more were involved. Classes were held on Dress Making, Tailoring, Quilting, Home Furnishing, Free Hand Embroidery, Millinery and even Teddy Bear Making.
As sewing machines advanced, customers were calling Janome seeking help and advice about which machine to buy and help with their sewing problems. Customers wanted hints and tips that could help them with their projects, and where to buy certain sewing items they needed. And so the Janome Customer Service Department was established with a dedicated Customer Service Helpline and Maureen moved over to that department as the Customer Service Manager.
Maureen has been involved with many other projects over the years, as the company continued to grow, including helping to produce tutorial videos and DVD’s. She also produced a company Newsletter from 2005 until 2009 (copies of which can still be found on www.janome.co.uk)This is Maureen last day in the Janome office, and can be seen with Ann White on the left - Customer Service Advisor / Training Co-ordinator, then Elaine Bennett- Customer Service Manager, Maureen and then Peter Barrett - U.K. Service Manager /Software Support.
Maureen told me “Over all my years with Janome I have been fortunate to work with a great team, people who are so totally professional and whose support I will always be grateful for. The Regional Sales Managers who are constantly out on the road supporting retailers and customers alike, the Service, Spares and Administration Departments and of course the Training and Customer Service Department. I was also very fortunate in having a great MD who gave me the opportunity to grow within the company during those years and will always be grateful to him for his support both professionally and personally. I will miss them all.”But it’s not a total goodbye, as I am delighted to say that Maureen has agreed to continue with the company on a freelance basis. She will be joining us at the larger sewing exhibitions around the UK, and we look forward to seeing all her sewing projects now she has all this free time!
Tuesday, 13 March 2012
With a huge range of patchwork fabrics, you can't help but fall in love with some of them! Sharon has lots of personal experience within sewing and quilting and runs her own workshops in the shop. (of course on Janome machines!)While I was visiting the shop a couple of months ago, just to say hello and take a few photographs for my blog... I signed up for a workshop! I have made various small sample quilts, but never attempted anything full size. Munkee Creations is only 10 minutes away from home, and with my need for nesting (you may not know this, but I am expecting our first baby in June!) I just couldn't help myself!
So a couple of weeks later... I was back.. and ready to sew!!! Firstly, I had to choose from the gorgeous range of Moda and Freedom patchwork fabrics.
I decided on a colourful mix of blues, greens, pinks and reds in a Jelly Roll. (Jelly Rolls are a quick way of quilting... which I'll explain as we carry on). First I had to sew all the strips into sets of five.. the Janome 1600p is perfect for this job, at 1600 stitches per minute, I was finished in no time!
As Jelly Rolls are designs especially with quilting in mind, all the strips are cut ready for you to start sewing. (you buy them when they look like circular rolls of fabric.. see a few photographs up). Once they were stitched into sets of five, the cutting starts. (I can't tell you all the secrets, you'll have to go one one of Sharon's workshops for that!)
But, after a couple of hours, my patchwork blocks are starting to come together! Don't the colours look so retro! I then took my blocks home, and finished on the quilt in my own time....
With my Janome Horizon 7700QCP, I had to embellish my blocks with some fancy embroidery stitches. I haven't done every seam... just most of them!
Then the blocks are stitched together, and the huge space on my Horizon makes this so easy. It took me a few evenings to do the quilting and binding and then .............dad dar................
my first finished patchwork quilt! This is my first item I have made for the new baby nursery.. I'm just so excited to make lots more!
Thank you so much to Sharon for her wonderful Jelly Roll workshop, and teaching me some fabulous patchwork secrets!
For more information on Munkee Creations, please check out their website and facebook page.
Janome Machines are available locally from Ilkeston Sewing Centre.
Monday, 6 February 2012
"Running With Scissors, Sheffield’s first craft lounge, was set up in 2009 by Emma Kent to help others learn new skills and share her love of all things crafty. I wanted a business name that reflected the ethos of experimenting, taking some risks, and having some fun, which are all part of the Running With Scissors experience. At the moment we do lots of sewing based workshops and after lots of research decided to buy 5 Janome Machines for people to use at the workshops (they are very reliable, robust enough for beginners and people absolutely love the automatic needle threader!). I run about half the workshops myself and the others are run my guest tutors who are specialists in their particular craft, such as dress making or patchwork and quilting. Sewing Machines for beginners is our most popular workshop where people get to learn how to thread up a machines, do basic stitches and get to make a cushion cover (see above). People are so thrilled with what they have achieved at the workshop it never fails to give me a little buzz of excitement. Sewing is hugely popular at the moment and people want to make their own clothes, do alterations and make projects for the home. Some of our other workshops include ‘Zips and Buttons’ (we make the little purse above), ‘Curtains for Beginners’ and ‘Make your own Patchwork Quilt’. Our ‘A-Line skirt in a Day’ is so popular we are also going to run a ‘Dress in a Day’ workshop, this will be a bias cut dress (all will be explained at the workshop) which is flattering for lots of different body shapes.
My Gran made lots of clothes for me when I was a child and she taught me how to use a sewing machine back in the early 1980s, my early projects included a red and white spotted A-symmetrical top and a red pencil skirt with a zip down the centre front (eat your heart out Pepsi and Shirley!). Now I’m a bit more grown up my sewing project list is never ending, currently on the list are curtains for our lounge (bay window!), a green linen tunic top, a draft excluder (possibly a 1970’s sausage dog style), some cushions…….
Workshops are mainly held at the Meersbrook Park United Reformed Church, Chesterfield Road, Heeley (about 3 miles form the centre of Sheffield). We also offer private tuition in your own home, craft parties, hen parties and workplace lunchtime sessions. It looks like 2012 is going to be a busy year…
For more information on Emma sewing workshops, visit her website
For more information about our Sheffield Janome stockist, Woodseats Sewing Machines,check out their website
Wednesday, 11 January 2012
Michelle has been teaching tailoring, dressmaking and lingerie courses for 12 years and moved into her current premises in June 2010. The shop stocks a huge range of couture fusible interfacing, interlinings, lingerie fabrics and haberdashery... if Michelle doesn't stock it, it's not worth having!
Her fully equipped classroom has everything you might need to make your perfect trousers, bra or even wedding dress... including Janome 6600p... one of our most popular professional sewing machines.
For more information, check out English Couture Company website, facebook page and twitter.